Saved by Arik from the arena of Iopos.
This furred creature looks part
mole and part serpent, with a birdlike
beak. About as long as a human’s
forearm, the earth q’wril looks harmless.
Most of these beasts pose no
threat to anything save a few plants.
The q’wril feeds on roots, berries, and
fruit, though some few have developed
a taste for meat. These latter are quite
rare, and few adventurers will likely
encounter them. The earth q’wril can
move through the earth as easily as a fish
through water. The beast uses its diamondhard,
pyramid-shaped beak to break through all
but stone and the hardest clay. The beak also dribbles a
thin fluid, which acts as a lubricant and has a magical property that
somehow thins the soil, allowing the beast to pass through it as if the
earth had no more substance than water. Most q’wril travel just a few
feet below the earth’s surface, though they can move as far below
ground as they desire.
The q’wril’s senses are abnormally sharp. Scholars, as usual, squabble
endlessly over the reason; some believe that the beast’s furry coat
is sensitive enough to detect objects on the ground above it, while
others insist that the creature has some other unknown sense that
makes it aware of its surroundings. Still others claim the q’wril’s beak
has some mystical property apart from the magic liquid it secretes,
basing this staggeringly far-fetched assumption on the rapid clicking
of the beak below the soil that is occasionally heard. The q’wril’s
extraordinary senses, combined with its prowess at hurling itself out
of the earth with great force, enables this subterranean beast to find
the fruit on which it lives. The q’wril can burst from the ground and
seize objects many feet above it, bounding into the boughs of an oak
to graze on its leaves or plucking a tasty apple from an exposed branch.
It can even spear other small animals, leaping into them like a tiny
furred javelin. The surface disturbance caused by the q’wril’s subterranean
movement ceases just before it leaps because the animal
is sinking deeper into the soil to get a longer run at the surface.
The q’wril likes the company of its fellows, often moving in groups
of twenty or more. A pod of q’wril cresting above the fields or weaving
around the trunks of trees below a forest floor is one of Barsaive’s
most fascinating sights, though most of Barsaive’s farmers would not
agree. The creature’s taste for roots makes the q’wril the farmer’s
enemy; a large pod can devastate a field in a scant few days. In areas
plagued by q’wril, the working folk build stone corrals around their
fields and bury stone slabs in the soil to keep the creatures from burrowing
in and then erect palisades upon the stone foundations to
stop the beast from leaping over the top. Many farms in these areas
resemble intricate mazes or daunting fortifications, all to stop the
depredations of a creature smaller than a dog.
Villages plagued by the q’wril rarely seek out and exterminate the
animals, having learned from bitter experience that they will only
lose many Namegiver lives in the process. The creatures attack in
pods, bursting suddenly through the earth at blinding speed and
using their deadly beaks to stab their attackers through even the
heaviest armor. Elves prize these beaks as arrowheads, and some
windlings use them as spear tips when they can get them.
The life on the borders of the Poison Wood made this Earth Q’wril stronger and larger than his normal kind. Due to the food the Poison Wood provided for it, the saliva of this creature became a natural poison.
- DEX: 6
- STR: 5
- TOU: 5
- PER: 5
- WIL: 5
- CHA: 4
Damage (Bite): 7
Physical Defense: 8
Spell Defense: 7
Social Defense: 5
Physical Armor: 3
Mystic Armor: 1
Recovery Tests: 2
Wound Threshold: 6
Movement: 75/38 40/20 (The second value is the creature’s burrowing Movement Rate)
- Locate Target (5): 10
- Poisoned Saliva (on Wounds): 6 (no armor counts)
Duration 5 rounds or Willpowertest against 6
- Animal Durability: 4/3
- One Result level less for an armor defeating hit.
- Burrowing attack (swoop attack rules apply)
- Legend Points: 250
- Loot: Triangular beak worth 25 silver pieces (worth Legend Points)
The tiny earth q’wril is a small threat by itself, but potentially
deadly in numbers. This creature always travels in groups of at least
twenty and an entire pod of q’wril can dispatch an unwary victim
quickly and easily. A q’wril’s sharp bite causes little damage, but
its bill is enormously strong. The q’wril requires one result level
less to achieve an Armor-Defeating Hit on its victim (usually a
Good result) with its beak.
Locate Target: The earth q’wril’s Locate Target power allows
them to sense targets on the earth’s surface from underground.
The power’s range is 8 yards (4 hexes).